Formal Cooperators in the Plan Revision Process

When this planning effort started, the BLM offered the 18 O&C counties as well as Federal and State agencies the opportunity to participate as "formal cooperators" in the plan revision process. The BLM's planning regulations allow agencies and units of government with overlapping or related responsibilities and missions to participate in the planning process by sharing information or staff and participating in the development of alternatives and the analysis of the effects of those alternatives.

Of the 18 O&C counties in western Oregon, 17 decided to participate as formal cooperators. Of the 17, all but Benton County designated the Association of O&C Counties to represent them in the process.

The State of Oregon (including 10 state agencies) also agreed to participate as a formal cooperator. Federal agencies with cooperator status are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Input from the Cooperators

Since 2005, the BLM has had numerous formal and unformal meetings with the cooperators. During the public review period of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), many of the cooperators provided formal comments. Those formal comments are provided below as they were received.

The Draft EIS was distributed to the cooperators and the public to elicit comments to identify possible flaws in the analysis. The BLM has reviewed these comments and suggestions. In the Final EIS (available late October 2008), the BLM will respond to the cooperators' comments and may make changes in the analysis or Final EIS, or may provide an explanation of why changes are not needed.